Oct 31, 2013
Medical Student
Hello all

Just looking for a bit of advice for future competitiveness.

A bit about myself:

I had some circumstances in my undergrad that prevented me from attaining stellar scores - family needing my assistance to provide, and some immaturity of course (as this was never my intended path until after I graduated from a NON SCIENCE undergrad). Either way, I busted my hump to save up enough money and applied/got accepted to a Caribbean school.

Clinical experience is low (once more, as this was never my intended path I had a late start to resume building): Approx 1 yr in an ophthalmology clinic, plus a couple short term observerships.
I work extremely hard now and do well - NBME shelf exams, always 500+. I will be sitting for step 1 in Summer of 2014 after a few months of dedicated preparation.

Assuming the standard "do well on step 1" advice, what can anyone recommend an IMG do to prove oneself and improve chances? I just need to beef up the resume/supplement scores.
I know my past decisions/mistakes are present, and unfortunately cant change. No excuses however, and I just want to get the job done.

I have been doing some observerships in between semesters in hopes of allowing physicians in my home area to get to know me a little better. Nurses have mentioned to me that I stick out as very eager to get involved/ask Q's so I think thats a positive sign for upcoming rotations, but aside from scoring well on exams, I feel this is going to be limited in its effectiveness.

So I turn to the SDN community: I know I go to an offshore school, I know I am at a disadvantage so please dont bother chiming in to remind me of that. Im just a guy willing to break his back to get ahead, and looking for advice on how to do so. Any tangible activities that can help beef up the resume NOW (or heck, tell me ideas for the future too) would be greatly appreciated.

My ultimate dream come true would be an EM residency, which I know is on the higher end of the spectrum for realistic IMG matching capability. Family/IM/Peds would still make me very happy, but if anyone has advice specific to EM (even for future use in clinical rotations) Id love to hear it.

Thank you all :)


Staff member
7+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2011
Attending Physician
At this point there is nothing more you can do to better your chances besides do really really well on Step 1. Looking forward to making sure you get good LoRs from clinical rotations would distract you from your goal of doing really really well on step 1. Once you get done with Step 1, come back and we can discuss how to get good LoRs, where do attempt to do clinical rotations, etc. etc. For IMGs, Step 2 is also important, so you will want to take that before you start MS4 most likely. But again, this is all stuff that can be discussed after you take Step 1 in the summer of 2014.

The only possible thing I could maybe even think to recommend would be research. However, EM doesn't really care a whole lot about research. Maybe research would help your chances slightly. Again, just to re-iterate, don't let it take away from your step 1 studying.


7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2009
Medical Student
I dont know if this is relevant given you are an american trying to get back in, but I was told that for IMGs like from Europe, for example, that taking a year or so to do research (ie impress/get to know some imp ppl) in the field you are looking for and the place you want to do is pretty much the only way to get in. Again I'm not sure if it would fit 100%, but it seems to make sense. If ppl like you and know you work hard, why would they take a chance on someone new over you?
About the Ads